The New York Primaries & The Likelihood Of A Brokered Convention Are Significantly Intertwined
In New York's Republican primary on Tuesday, Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Gov. John Kasich will vie for the state's 95 delegates. Nothing is guaranteed, but there is a possibility that Trump will walk away with a big piece of the prize, based on New York's delegate allocation rules. And if he does, a brokered Republican convention will be less likely — but still not out of the question.
First, let's consider why Trump, who's hovering just above 50 percent in recent polls, could walk away with a bunch of the state's delegates. New York allocates its delegates in a "winner-take-most" fashion. If Trump gets over 50 percent of the statewide vote, he'll get an automatic 14 delegates. Then there are the congressional districts. New York has 27 of them, each with three delegates. A candidate who wins over 50 percent in a district gets all three delegates. So if Trump pulls a majority not only in the state as a whole but also in most congressional districts, he could walk away with most of the 95 delegates at stake.
If Trump gains close to 100 delegates on Tuesday, that would make a brokered convention in July much less likely. In order to be nominated by the Republican Party, a candidate must earn a majority of available delegates — at least 1,237. Trump is going into New York with 756 delegates. If he ends Tuesday with most of the state's delegates (say, 84), then he'll significantly narrow the gap between what he's got and what he needs.
Still, it'll be a hard push for Trump going forward. Even if he snags 80 or so delegates on Tuesday, he'll still need a good number of the delegates remaining to be won in primaries — about 62 percent of them. It's not out of the question, since many of the upcoming primaries will be held in northeastern states like New Jersey and Connecticut, where Trump is expected to do well. However, the midwestern states remaining are likely Cruz Country, and Trump's performance in the Western states of Washington, Oregon, and California is not likely to be as strong. Getting a big grab in New York, his home state, is Trump's best bet for securing sufficient delegates for the nomination.
There are big stakes in the Big Apple state, and whether Trump is the party's automatic nominee or Kasich and Cruz prove successful in their game of delegate keep-away could hinge on Trump's performance in New York.